The Department of Labor and Employment has expressed concern over a report on the increasing number of illegal foreign workers in the country.
“Whether it is true or not, the only thing we are certain is that there are only around 115,000 foreign workers with Alien Employment Permit issued by DOLE regional directors,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement on Thursday.
He said the agency has issued Alien Employment Permit to over 115,000 foreigners since 2015. Citing the latest data from the Bureau of Local Employment, there are 115,652 foreign nationals who were issued with AEP, 51,980 of whom are Chinese, while 12,177 are Japanese and 11,780 are Koreans, for a three-year period from 2015 to 2017.
Earlier, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has claimed there are around 400,000 foreigners working in Metro Manila alone. Bello noted that they are not the only permit-issuing agency that allows foreign nationals to work in the country.
Other agencies that issue working permit to foreign workers include the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for geoscience and mining industry; the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for the practice of regulated professions; the Department of Justice for nationalized or partially nationalized industries; and the Bureau of Immigration, for the pre-arranged employment visa or 9G.